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Louis L. Sweeny Letters Describing Overland Journey to Silver City, NM, 1875

Identifier: MSS-871-SC

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 3 letters, handwritten by Louis L. Sweeny, along with typescripts of the letters. The first letter, dated April 26, 1875, describes the train trip across the plains and arrival in Denver, with mention of the scenery, wildlife, and “fugitive" Cheyenne Indians. The second letter, dated May 3, 1875, from Santa Fe, NM, describes the journey into the New Mexico territory, with commentary on the prevalence of adobe houses and a derogatory and racist description of the population: “The Mexicans here, or so-called greasers who with the Indians & half breeds make up nine tenths of the population of the territory, are the most villainous-looking, black, hairy, dirty, greasy creatures you could imagine on two legs." The final letter, May 9, 1875, describes the stage coach journey from Santa Fe to Silver City. Sweeny makes extensive observations about the scenery, commenting on vineyards, orchards, irrigation, crossing the Rio Grande (numerous times), the beauty of Isleta, the Jornada del Muerto, Fort Craig, Aleman, Fort Selden, Doña Ana, Las Cruces, Hot Springs, Fort Bayard, etc. The letters are quite descriptive in regard to the journey and landscape, offering the perspective and commentary of an outsider traveling through territorial New Mexico for the first time.


  • 1875


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.


1 Folder


The collection consists of three letters written by Louis Sweeny, describing his overland journey from Philadelphia to Silver City, NM, with stops in Denver and Santa Fe.
Finding Aid of the Louis L. Sweeny Letters Describing Overland Journey to Silver City, NM, 1875, 1875
B. Silbergleit
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131